Aiaia had always been my home. I felt it in my bare feet as I walked, in the beasts I tamed with gentle hands. The sound of the waves beating at the shore steadied my heart during Telegonus’ wretched days. I was never meant for Helios’ dim, suffocating halls. Grass beneath my feet, rocks chipping away at my sturdy skin. My home was never cold, my skin never chilled.
Her smile was testimony that my place was on Aiaia. Penelope’s skin was not divine; worry lines etched her smooth face. Her eyes sat nicely in her face, and in a way they reminded me of him, but they were hers, undeniably. I would lie with her amongst the sheets of my golden bed, stroking her hair back from her face. The weight of her years, infantile compared to mine, were washed away by Death’s Brother. She was beautiful and would have a place amongst us nymphs, if not for how sharp she was.
Penelope was the best of mortal women, and would be the best out of all the women I knew: Madea, my sister, and perhaps the only one who could compete was Adriane. I did not lie with her as I did Penelope. My heart, however slow beating it was, sped when we met, lips chapped and melded to one another. I could see how he fell for her. Her wit was unparalleled; the arch of her neck bent delicately, hands firm where she gripped me. She was a woman who knew herself, confident in what she wanted as she emerged from the veil of mourning, less time bent at the loom, more time with my herbs and I.